The sublime Free Aero RC Short is Castelli's top cycling short, which also means that it's insanely comfortable even if you never pin on a number. Not many riders opt for a race short, but this is one you can choose and if you prefer shorts, you definitely should. It's fair to say that the designers been working on this short for the past 15 years. That's how long it's been since the original Free Aero Race was first introduced, initially as their top-of-the-line race option. Since then the bib version has won numerous Grand Tours and countless pro races but it also became the best-selling product in the history of Castelli because, simply put, this is the short that does everything well.
The concept is quite simple: start with the best pad the company know's how to make, surround it with a supportive short with good muscle compression, and then remove everything else that's not absolutely necessary. You feel Free thanks to the reduced number of panels and the reduced number of seams. In fact, the short portion has just 5 panels compared to the 10 of the previous generation. You feel Free because of further refinements to the Progetto X2 Air seamless seat pad. The two densities of foam plus the gel pads provide progressive damping, while the separate Skin Care Layer is soft and stretchy to move with your skin.
Want more? You feel also Free because this is the first high-end short that doesn't need any sort of gripper or elastic at the end of the leg to keep the leg in place. Getting this right meant 28 prototypes and Castelli's most extensive test program ever, and it results in the most comfortable leg ending they've ever made. The highly breathable Forza 2 fabric has 32% Lycra® with a high modulus for exceptional muscle support and just the right amount of compression. There's reflective piping on the back. And all logos are either stitched or embossed for durability. This is the comprehensive update we have been waiting for, and it was worth the years of work by Castelli's superbly dedicated design team.
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